Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Fallen

This word has almost disappeared from the secular culture, and probably many 'religious' people as well. But we hear about Fallenness in the Bible right after the stories of the Origin.
The reality of the Fall runs all through the Bible. Looking at the Myth you will see it happening repeatedly since the days of Adam. In the Psalms we hear about it repeatedly.
Paul describes it clearly in Romans 7:22-3 and Walter Wink gave a very detailed analysis of how it impacts our present circumstances. In his lengthy discussions of the Domination System he found us all guilty, at the very least of acquiesence in an evil order of society.
Wink wrote on page 72 of Engaging the Powers that although "the doctrine of the Fall has been perverted to justify the worst kinds of oppression,", the "gladsome doctrine" indicates that we were good in the beginning, we fell, and we have been/are/will be redeemed. He indicated that the "Church is fallen along with the Empire."
"we have been trained, schooled, cajoled, and bullied into defecting from [God's values] in favor of the values of the world."
But the knowledge that we are loved by God enables us to find our way out of "this world", back to where we were at the beginning.

3 comments:

david said...

Good old George Fox (and his pal Barclay) held that Adam's sin wsn't imputed to us until we ourselves sin. In effect -- the biblical narrative of Innocence-Fall-Law-Redemption is the story of each of our lives individually.

I think Northrup Frye would have liked to have read that in old George.

Larry said...

Thanks, David. This is great. Your comment, particularly "Innocence-Fall-Law-Redemption" leads me to see how pervasive the myth is. It can be, and is expressed in many languages. As you point out it applies most pungently to each of us individually.

You can also see it in Jung's system as id-ego-(crucifixion of the ego)- self.

You can also see it in political systems, especially those where the process seems to have aborted. I received from another group this
link from the Baltimore Chronicle, which seems to be a rather lurid anti-establishment rag. I feel like Wink does a better job with his socio-religious analysis than Levy does with his pcyshological one.

Be that as it may, it does seem to me of the essence to spread this sort of awareness before the public less we fall into a fatal obsession. (However my eldest son, home for Christmas, took us severely to task for being so politically minded. Maybe he's right; I sure hope so.)

Marjorie said...

Politically minded -- thats whats been pricking at me for some time. As I ponder my own church involvement, I find myself both drawn to and repelled from the politics which seem so heavily a part of Quaker meetings. As the young priest at my church pointed out wordlessly, I can get involved in many political activities through my own church. At this point, though, I'm more curious about whether waiting worship suits me better than liturgy.

I'm muddled -- I hate the war, but don't yet have it in me to attend a peace rally. Am I a coward? Should I force myself to do it? or is there just another way for which I'm better suited?